THE Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) of the Department of Agriculture in Iloilo City has mobilized community volunteers to be vigilant in monitoring pest and plant diseases in their respective rice cluster areas.

Agriculture regional director Larry Nacionales said the Bantay Peste Volunteer Brigade (BPVB) were recently organized in six teams in eight rice producing municipalities in Western Visayas, following reports of rice pest outbreaks with the emergence of plant pests and other diseases that clogged the growth of rice plants.

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Members of the brigade comprise rice cluster farmers who have undergone training on integrated pest management farmers field school (IPM-FFS) and hands-on training on pests monitoring and disease identification.

RCPC has already organized six BPVB teams situated at the municipalities of Barotac Nuevo, Dingle, and Sta. Barbara in the province of Iloilo; Barbaza and Culasi in the province of Antique; and in Ibajay, Numancia, and Kalibo in the province of Aklan. (Lydia C. Pendon)